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charged Heated scenes as senior barrister is led away after being charged with murdering father of four

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Gardaí hold back friends of the deceased, Keith Conlon, who shouted at Diarmuid Phelan as he was taken from court yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Gardaí hold back friends of the deceased, Keith Conlon, who shouted at Diarmuid Phelan as he was taken from court yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Gardaí hold back friends of the deceased, Keith Conlon, who shouted at Diarmuid Phelan as he was taken from court yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

A senior lawyer has been remanded in custody after gardaí charged him with the murder of a man in a shooting on farmland near Tallaght in Dublin earlier this week.

Diarmuid Phelan (53) appeared before Judge Patricia McNamara yesterday morning at Tallaght District Court.

Mr Phelan, a senior counsel and law lecturer, of Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, is accused of the murder of Keith Conlon at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, on Tuesday.

The deceased was a father of four from nearby Kiltalown Park.

The dog breeder was severely injured in the shooting incident at the foot of the Dublin Mountains on Tuesday afternoon.

Gardaí and emergency services arrived just after 1pm.

Mr Conlon was rushed to Tallaght University Hospital, where he remained on life-support until he died on Thursday.

Gardaí arrested the accused at the scene and detained him at Tallaght station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939. The legal professional and academic was charged late on Thursday night and held pending his court appearance yesterday morning.

Friends of Mr Conlon waited outside the courthouse.

Dressed in a black suit, face mask and open-necked white shirt, Mr Phelan was escorted into court after his case was the first to be called.

He stood and acknowledged the judge when she read out his name.

He then sat silently facing forward as Detective Garda Michael McGrath gave the evidence of arrest, charge and caution.

Det McGrath told Judge Patricia McNamara he arrested Mr Phelan “for the offence of murder of Keith Conlon on February 22”.

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Det McGrath said the station sergeant charged the accused, and he was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

“He made no reply to charge after caution,” Det McGrath said.

The district court does not have the jurisdiction in a murder case to consider bail, which requires an application to the High Court.

Judge McNamara said Mr Phelan would be remanded in custody.

Defence solicitor Eddie O’Connor asked for the case to be adjourned until Wednesday. However, the detective asked for it to be put back until next Friday.

Judge McNamara agreed, and remanded Mr Phelan in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on March 4.

Mr O’Connor confirmed his client would appear via video link. The solicitor added that there was no further application at this stage.

The judge also noted that there was no legal aid application.

At the end of the five-minute hearing, the accused nodded and said “Thank you, judge” and he was then escorted from the courtroom to await transfer to prison.

About 20 minutes later, his departure in custody from the courthouse area was highly charged as gardaí intervened when members of the public, hurling abuse, attempted to block and surround a vehicle taking him away.

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